Saturday, 28 February 2015

Laodicea – the lukewarm church

“I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so that you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so that you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so that you can see” (Revelation 3:14-23)

Of all the seven cities mentioned in chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation, none was richer or more insolent than Laodicea. When it was the victim of a terrible earthquake in AD 60, the Roman historian Tacitus tells us that it disdained to accept any aid from the emperor Nero.

As with the city, so with the church in Laodicea! No word of commendation is given it in the ‘letter’ addressed to it by the glorified Christ. Researchers tell us that water was piped to Laodicea from nearby hot springs, but tended to arrive lukewarm. The reference, then, to the church as being “neither cold nor hot” – and fit only to be spat out was an apt rebuke for a merely nominal church (v. 15,16).

1. Here was a church claiming to be rich, yet was spiritually ‘poor’

2. Here was a church claiming to be a showpiece, yet was ‘naked’

3. Here was a church claiming to be self-reliant, yet was ‘blind’

The rescue way is this. Christ knocks for admission outside the door of a church that excludes Him (v. 20). His promise is there – yes, even for the single individual – ‘anyone’ - who will open the door to Him: ‘I will come in.” If you’ve never done so, will you receive Him into your life this very day?